excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 42 (187 words)

excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 42 (187 words)

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In Pursuit of Music

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I listened to as much music as I could, both inside and outside the Academy.  There was the ‘new music society’, and there were the series of chamber-concerts of established classics, Dvoƙák one year, Mozart the next, and so on.  As students we were allowed to attend the rehearsals of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s concerts in Queen’s Hall, revelling in the sheer sound of Léon Goossens’s oboe playing as Beecham coaxed the most exquisite turns of phrase in Delius’s Brigg Fair or set the heavens dancing in Bizet and Rossini.  There was opera, which I shall come to anon: Carmen, Elektra, Bohème, Hansel and Gretel, and above all, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner.  Perhaps there was the danger, in an age of high specialisation, of falling between many stools; but I doubt whether more hours of practice would ever have turned me into a virtuoso with wrists of steel.  If I had anything worth saying as a performer I owed most of it to the wide range of music-making and listening that came my way. 

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excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 42 (187 words)


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